They banter like George and Gracie, share the airtime, laugh a lot. UBC alumni Barbara and Ken Hallat are telling the story of their wedding reception at Cecil Green Park House on June 28, 1968, their 50th anniversary celebration there in 2018, and the years in between. They speak of being “lucky” and “blessed,” and they’re flirting like newlyweds. “Don’t print that!” Barb cries after almost everything Ken says. “I’m under a gag order,” Ken teases back.
Barbara Cartmell and Ken Hallat met on the ice rink at Kerrisdale Arena as grade 10 students at Sir Winston Churchill High School. For a couple of years, they played the field, as it was called in those days. As of grade 12, they dated exclusively. “We had lots of fun!” is how Barb explains their decision to go steady. Along with two other girls, they carpooled together to UBC, where Barb earned her BEd and Ken his MBA. “Over seven years, we talked about a lot of things,” Barb says. “He was somebody I could trust and we knew each other well.”
They were married at St. Helen’s Anglican Church, where the minister, Barb’s uncle, had double‑booked the 6 pm time slot. They obliged the other couple, married at 7, and then moved the party to Cecil Green Park House. “There was no alcohol,” Barb laughs, “just tea and coffee and a punch bowl. A little band. It was exactly what I wanted.”
First developed in 1912, the Cecil Green estate features a fully revitalized old-world mansion and glass-covered terrace surrounded by lush, sprawling gardens and the sea. “We had access to Cecil Green Park House for the $15 alumni fee charged at the time,” Ken reveals. Barb recalls a wedding party made up entirely of family, and many more extended family and close friends among their 100 guests. The impressive venue books just one event at a time, so they had the place to themselves.
“I always gardened with my dad,” Barb reminisces, “so we loved the gardens. It was like having it at home.”
“We loved the venue and the spectacular views from the patios.” In fact, Ken admits, “We didn’t look anywhere else.”
The same was true when it came time to celebrate their golden wedding anniversary. “The 28th was booked,” Ken says, “and we tried to get [the other party] to move their date, but they couldn’t, so we held it on the 27th.” Seems their graciousness has stood the test of time.
The secret to their happy marriage? “Balance,” says Ken. “Your married life, your individual life, your career have to be in balance. Flexibility… there have to be two points of view. And do some work on the relationship, but don’t make it a job!”
“Marry somebody you trust and love,” Barb says, “and have fun!” There’s a pause.
“Luck,” she adds.
“Luck and timing,” Ken says at the same time.
On January 19, 2019, join us for an interactive, pop-up experience at Cecil Green Park House. Tour the house, sample the menu, and meet our preferred vendors at this exclusive, one-day-only event that goes beyond the traditional wedding show. Learn more
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Overlooking the Strait of Georgia with panoramic views of the mountains bordering Howe Sound, Cecil Green Park House offers a uniquely Vancouver setting for your wedding or special event.
UBC faculty, staff, and alumni receive a 10% discount on wedding bookings.